When I was looking through "The Modern Baker" by Nick Malgieri, a dish titled 'Lingurian Savoy Cabbage Pie' REALLY caught my eye. No idea why. I've never had cabbage pie before... didn't know what it'd taste like. The thought of cabbage in pie just sounded like the greatest thing ever. I spent many nights dreaming about it.
Noone else seemed to share my enthusiasm. I mentioned I'd be making cabbage pie to Charlie TWICE and he TWICE insisted we go out to eat instead.
Today, I even did a mini survey around my clinic to see if 'cabbage pie' sounded appealing or gross to normal people (i.e. people that's not me). The first thing most people ask is "what? Just cabbage? Is there meat".
Well, no. There isn't meat. But I quickly pipe up that there's cheese. And onion. At this point, some kind-hearted people will politely reply "that might be OK then."
Hmm... well whatever. I had cabbage and ricotta bought already so regardless of a lukewarm public reception, I was intent on making my pie!
I halved the original recipe but the quantities got a bit fuddled. I had 2 mini pie cases that I wanted to fill but there wasn't enough short-crust for both pie cases. There was a 'bit' too much filling too... so I'll just post the original recipe which is meant for a 10 or 11 inch tart pan. You can alter it (with caution) or use it as is.
Lingurian Cabbage Pie
Makes one 10 or 11 inch diameter pie
For the olive oil shortcrust
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 medium head cabbage (preferably savoy but I just used normal cabbage)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 350g (1 and 1/2 cups) whole-milk ricotta
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Make the dough first...
1. Combine flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in food processor. Pulse a couple of times to mix.
2. Add the oil, eggs and yolks. Pulse repeatedly until dough forms a shaggy ball. Be careful not to overmix or the oil might separate from the dough (= hell).3. Form the dough into a ball and press it between two pieces of cling-wrap. Roll 1/2 of the dough out to about 1cm thick.4. Lay it over your pie tin and gently press into the tin. Olive oil dough is quite elastic so you can press it in with a bit more pressure (less delicate than butter shortcrust).5. Roll the 2nd half of your dough to the same thickness and reserve (this will be for the lid of the pie).
Make the filling...
1. In a saucepan full of boiling, salted water, cook the cabbage for a good 5min or so until it's wilted. Drain and let it cool down.
2. When you can handle the cabbage, slice it thinly.3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium and add the onion and garlic. Cook it until the onion is wilted and translucent. Add the cabbage.
4. Lower the heat and cook until the cabbage has reduced in volume. This might take about 15min or so.
5. When the cabbage and onion is ready, put it into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. You should over season to make up for the addition of ricotta and eggs.
6. Add the ricotta, eggs, parsley and parmesan, mixing thoroughly with the cabbage after each addition.7. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Spoon the cabbage filling into the prepared pie case. Smooth the top. Place the 2nd disk of dough over the top and press the sides to combine with the bottom pastry bowl. Pinch around the edges to make sure it's sealed.
8. Use a sharp knife to put some vent holes on the lid.
9. Bake the pie until the crust is deep golden and the filling is set - about 30min.
10. Cool on a rack.
Note: The pie is apparently supposed to be served at room temperature(says the recipe) but I ate it hot. Firstly because I was uber impatient and secondly because I find cold dinner to be sad and unsatisfying.
My opinion is that THIS PIE IS FANTASTIC. It's SO GOOD. I REALLY LIKED IT. It was different to what I expected. Less cabbage-flavored but just lovely savory flavors that worked wonderfully together. I love short crust pastry so anything in pie form tends to taste good to me. The olive oil flavor of the dough was a bit too strong for my liking so next time, I might go with a normal savory short crust rather than the olive oil dough.
The flaky, crumby crust with the cheesy cabbage filling was delicious. When I first took the pie out of the oven after 20min, it wasn't properly set on the inside. I had a taste and still thought it was good but after I returned it to the oven for the full 30min, the difference in texture just made the pie taste phenomenal. I had some tomatoes and parsley on the plate but really, it's fine all by itself. You don't need sauce or accompaniments. Man, I loved this pie. And to my merit, Charlie munched down 1/3 of my pie plus a whole 2nd pie so I'm sure I've won him over.
Moral of the post : Vegetable-based main meals don't necessarily suck.